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This collection of conversations examines and expands a concept of ‘feminist peace’. Feminist and critical theories have made significant contributions to understanding peace and security in International Law and International Relations, most noticeably in the recognition in law and certain policies of gender-based harms inflicted during war and the adoption and progression of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the UN Security Council. However, as recognised in much contemporary research, the potential of these developments to prevent violence and protect individuals and communities from harm have proven limited, to say nothing of their potential to deliver peace. It is evident then that recognition of (gender-based) harm in order to prevent the perpetuation of violence must include a broader view on inequalities, violence, colonialism and oppression, understanding both how power imbalances are extended across geographies and contexts and how they are structured not just by gender but also intersectional oppressions, colonial legacies and imperialism. Through inter-disciplinary conversations this collection develops plural concepts of peace, unbound by traditional geographies and temporalities, one that recognises and engages with institutional and conceptual limitations, and most importantly acknowledges ongoing feminist resistance to systemic abuse and oppression and how the emancipatory potential of this resistance might be harnessed.

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This conversation contributes to feminist (and non-feminist) understandings of peacemaking and peacebuilding, both from a practical understanding as well as informing academic debates that seek to incorporate and account for the lived experience of those at conflict sites. The chapter illuminates challenges and approaches around the themes of: grassroots activism and the translation of this work in different spaces/institutions; the dynamics of peace and understanding peace as a process; and how institutions absorb and/or repel pressure to change.

Open access
Editors: Sarah Smith and Keina Yoshida

EPUB and EPDF available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

What is feminist peace? How can we advocate for peace from patriarchy? What do women, globally, advocate for when they use the term 'peace'? This edited collection brings together conversations across borders and boundaries to explore plural, intersectional and interdisciplinary concepts of feminist peace.

The book includes contributions from a geographically diverse range of scholars, judges, practitioners and activists, and the chapters cut across themes of movement building and resistance and explore the limits of institutionalised peacebuilding. The chapters deal with a range of issues, such as environmental degradation, militarization, online violence and arms spending.

Offering a resource to advance theoretical development and to advocate for policy change, this book transcends traditional approaches to the study of peace and security and embraces diverse voices and perspectives which are absent in both academic and policy spaces.

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This conversation takes place between two feminist scholars and activists from Kenya and Ethiopia, both working at the intersection of feminism and technology at the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), actively involved in feminist movement building in their respective countries and beyond. The digital space is, in effect, a conflict zone for many women and girls in Africa. The internet has more recently emerged as an existing site of conflict for women and girls, but also a not-so-new, but much-needed, feminist front-line of resistance. This more visible reality necessitates that conversations about peace need to include the experiences and realities of women and girls organizing online, and ultimately what feminist peace for online movement building in Africa can look like.

Open access

This collection of conversations examines and expands a concept of ‘feminist peace’. Feminist and critical theories have made significant contributions to understanding peace and security in International Law and International Relations, most noticeably in the recognition in law and certain policies of gender-based harms inflicted during war and the adoption and progression of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the UN Security Council. However, as recognised in much contemporary research, the potential of these developments to prevent violence and protect individuals and communities from harm have proven limited, to say nothing of their potential to deliver peace. It is evident then that recognition of (gender-based) harm in order to prevent the perpetuation of violence must include a broader view on inequalities, violence, colonialism and oppression, understanding both how power imbalances are extended across geographies and contexts and how they are structured not just by gender but also intersectional oppressions, colonial legacies and imperialism. Through inter-disciplinary conversations this collection develops plural concepts of peace, unbound by traditional geographies and temporalities, one that recognises and engages with institutional and conceptual limitations, and most importantly acknowledges ongoing feminist resistance to systemic abuse and oppression and how the emancipatory potential of this resistance might be harnessed.

Open access

In this interdisciplinary dialogue, the authors deliberate on frames of ‘feminist peace’. Using a decolonial feminist methodology, a ‘friendship/kitchen table’, the conversation addresses the coloniality of gender as it intersects with peace, race and empire. The conversation centres differential material realities and structural inequalities, racial capitalism, (im)migration, militarization, securitization, violence and ongoing war and conflict. It is guided by questions on visioning feminist peace: What is our vision of feminist peace? How is our vision informed by our intersectional, queer, transnational and decolonial feminist politics and praxis? How does this vision allow us to articulate and activate different political demands that work towards transformative forms of justice?

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At what became the founding meeting of the International Women’s Network Against Militarism (IWNAM) in Naha Okinawa in 1997, Suzuyo Takazato, a founding member of Okinawa Women Act against Military Violence, asserted: ‘We have the US–Japan Security Treaty but it does not protect us. We need a new definition of security.’ The purpose of this conversation is to examine the history of the IWNAM and the concept of genuine security: a framework for analyzing the conditions we face includes not just race, class, gender and sexuality, but also nation, neoliberalism, the US military and the ‘protection of national interests’. The converrsation addresses militarism, the foundation of military bases, prisons and border patrols; the use of violence to resolve conflicts; obscene US and global military expenditures; and the racism/ethnocentrism, classism, patriarchy and male dominance embedded in the institutions in all our societies.

Open access

This collection of conversations examines and expands a concept of ‘feminist peace’. Feminist and critical theories have made significant contributions to understanding peace and security in International Law and International Relations, most noticeably in the recognition in law and certain policies of gender-based harms inflicted during war and the adoption and progression of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the UN Security Council. However, as recognised in much contemporary research, the potential of these developments to prevent violence and protect individuals and communities from harm have proven limited, to say nothing of their potential to deliver peace. It is evident then that recognition of (gender-based) harm in order to prevent the perpetuation of violence must include a broader view on inequalities, violence, colonialism and oppression, understanding both how power imbalances are extended across geographies and contexts and how they are structured not just by gender but also intersectional oppressions, colonial legacies and imperialism. Through inter-disciplinary conversations this collection develops plural concepts of peace, unbound by traditional geographies and temporalities, one that recognises and engages with institutional and conceptual limitations, and most importantly acknowledges ongoing feminist resistance to systemic abuse and oppression and how the emancipatory potential of this resistance might be harnessed.

Open access

In this conversation, the authors explore their journeys as feminist international lawyers, since co-authoring the first article on feminism and international law (‘Feminist approaches to international law’) published in 1991. The conversation explores the discipline as a vehicle for progress and peace, a site for change and maps where international law has transformative potential and questions whether its building blocks are too embedded for change. Reflecting on 25 years of academia and practice, the contributors interrogate their own positionality and potential new directions in the discipline for transformative peace.

Open access
Authors: Sarah Smith and Keina Yoshida

This chapter provides an overview of current conceptualizations of feminist peace within different disciplinary trajectories, particularly in the fields of international law and International Relations. The introduction draws out the central thematic threads that connect the conversations in this collection – extractivism, militarism, violence, the legacies of patriarchal and colonial violence, and contemporary resistances – and explores the value of conversation as a feminist collaborative research methodology.

Open access